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matching your socks with your shirt?

tradernick

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Hi guys

As a fine fashion beginner, I've asked a few questions here on SF and so far no one's mocked me for it, so I'm going to keep going even if the answers are obvious to most of you.

I bought a J. Abboud suit here in black [black!!?? Of course you mean charcoal], and a Robert Graham shirt in pink. I wore them last weekend with a black tie with Paisley texture in it. It went over fairly well.

Trojanman is selling some Nagranis here and he has some in pink (#103 and 130).

http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=73963

My question is - could I wear the pink socks with this suit/shirt combo? I assume some of you will think that the real question I should be asking is 'Should I wear this suit/shirt/sock combo' : )

More generally I want to know if the 'shirt and socks matching' rule works. I wear black socks only with black suits and I want to branch out a bit.

Thanks as always - again, the answer is probably obvious to you guys but this is all new to me.

Nik
 

literasyme

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You'll get all sorts of different responses. Personally, I think socks aren't rule-bound, they're a space for wit. I sometimes match socks to tie, and sometimes to shirt, and sometimes not at all. The only thing I avoid is boredom. Now, I'm not bound by any conventions or rules in my line of work, so that may not work for you...
 

tradernick

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Originally Posted by literasyme
You'll get all sorts of different responses. Personally, I think socks aren't rule-bound, they're a space for wit. I sometimes match socks to tie, and sometimes to shirt, and sometimes not at all. The only thing I avoid is boredom. Now, I'm not bound by any conventions or rules in my line of work, so that may not work for you...


Hi, I was going to add something to my post and I saw your response - thanks for your thoughts. What occured to me is that maybe socks aren't supposed to be matched to shirts, but to ties!

Anyhow, in my work I am probably bound by the rule that I shouldn't be too conventional, thus the pink shirt and possibly pink socks. I do get the feeling in all of this that if you can pull it off with panache, it's a good look. Surely there's some wit in those pink Nagranis! I believe a part of color choice has to do with skin tone as well.

I am always looking for generally accepted rules about what not to do under any circumstances.

Thanks again
 

lordofpi

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Originally Posted by tradernick
Hi guys

I bought a J. Abboud suit here in black, and a Robert Graham shirt in pink. I wore them last weekend with a black tie with Paisley texture in it. It went over fairly well.

My question is...



Unfortunately all that other information and questioning will get lost since you used the verboten SF panic word: black. You still have time to edit the post and change "black" to "charcoal" before high command arrives and you are given the SF Michael Fay treatment -- plus that way your question gets answered. It's 1:52 AM EDT, you haven't much time... don't say I didn't warn you!

Anyhow, to be somewhat helpful, OP, socks generally are to be matched to trousers -- sort of to be an extension thereof when the pant leg is raised above shoe (or spat) level. Nevertheless, the more adventurous definitely will use socks to complement all sorts of aspects of dress. Shirt seems to be the most common, though I really do not get creative in this area; others are more qualified to expand on the proper ways to do this.
 

lordofpi

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Oh, and by the way, warm welcome to you. Don't take my first paragraph above too seriously, but you'll see what I mean if you hang around a little while (not that I disagree with the no-black-suits premise, but it can get a little ferocious).
 

tradernick

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Originally Posted by lordofpi
Oh, and by the way, warm welcome to you. Don't take my first paragraph above too seriously, but you'll see what I mean if you hang around a little while (not that I disagree with the no-black-suits premise, but it can get a little ferocious).

I got a laugh out of your post but at the same time I sensed that there's some truth to it. I had seen a few oblique references to the 'black suits are verboten' here but I wasn't quite sure what the deal was. I do notice that in the FS section (where I spend a borderline-dysfunctional amount of time since I discovered this place) there are a lot of suits and jackets that aren't black. A lot. Most of them.

I'll have to spend some time doing a search here for the keywords 'black suit' and 'never' just so that I can understand what the issue is. Perhaps the issue is that black suits are mainly for people who don't know what the issue with black suits is, if you get my drift...

If you feel like telling me your personal reasons for not wearing black suits, I'm all ears. The reason I wear them is that the only time I've been asked to wear a suit in the past xx years is for work (jobbing musician) and in that case a black suit (with... get ready for it... a black shirt!!) is the uniform of choice.
 

tradernick

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Originally Posted by tlmusic
I am also a gigging musician, and a couple times a year I am usually asked to wear a black suit. I much prefer navy or charcoal.

This is the world famous SF black suit thread--
http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=8221

All you need to know about the topic--and more.

Hey tl, nice to encounter another muso here. Thanks for the link, it'll be my bedtime reading before crashing tonight.

I've been getting a lot of wedding/corporate work lately, thus my search for a couple of decent (b-l-a-c-k) suits, which led me to this place. I now have the bug badly and I'm trying to build a wardrobe of decent pieces.

Aha, I knew I recognized your name - the black G & G's. Those are still beautiful and the EG in chestnut are gorgeous too - I love that antiqued look. I was able to pick up a pair of Ferragamos from chobochobo which are working for me.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT: That thread is... 53 pages over 3 years?? Good Lord.
 

tlmusic

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Originally Posted by tradernick
I've been getting a lot of wedding/corporate work lately, thus my search for a couple of decent (b-l-a-c-k) suits, which led me to this place. I now have the bug badly and I'm trying to build a wardrobe of decent pieces.
Yeah, the black suit is a typical uniform for performing musicians. I can't afford to be too much of a snob about them, since I've played some of my favorite performances ever while wearing a black suit. Actually, at most weddings/private parties I choose to wear a dark navy blue suit or a tuxedo (which is black). When my swing band plays I encourage the musicians to wear non-matching clothes in the 1930's style. I don't believe that black is the only option in most cases. The gigs that require a black suit are usually group performances. For example: --a sideman in a house band for a rock show. --a player in the pit band for a broadway musical --big band musicians, when the event does not call for a tuxedo --when clients who don't know Manton's "rules" try to have their way
I think the black suit is usually called for so the musicians will not stand out on stage; rather, so they will fade into the background. Another reason bandleaders may specify black suits, is if they want a "matching" effect--that is, they want all the musicians to look like they are dressed the same. Since black suits (expensive or cheap) all look about the same from 20 feet away, this usally works. Any other color would not work. There are so many shades of blue, gray or brown that musicians would show up in all different colors if not told to wear black. P. S. Sorry, I'm waaaay off topic about socks. I think socks are free-for-all. If you must have a safe guideline, match your socks to your trousers.
 

daveboxster

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Originally Posted by tradernick
Hi guys

As a fine fashion beginner, I've asked a few questions here on SF and so far no one's mocked me for it, so I'm going to keep going even if the answers are obvious to most of you.

I bought a J. Abboud suit here in black [black!!?? Of course you mean charcoal], and a Robert Graham shirt in pink. I wore them last weekend with a black tie with Paisley texture in it. It went over fairly well.

Trojanman is selling some Nagranis here and he has some in pink (#103 and 130).

http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=73963

My question is - could I wear the pink socks with this suit/shirt combo? I assume some of you will think that the real question I should be asking is 'Should I wear this suit/shirt/sock combo' : )

More generally I want to know if the 'shirt and socks matching' rule works. I wear black socks only with black suits and I want to branch out a bit.

Thanks as always - again, the answer is probably obvious to you guys but this is all new to me.

Nik


I've seen those pink socks in person and I can tell you that they are v*e*r*y pink and bold. My humble opinion is that they will stick out like a sore thumb with black pants and (gasp) look clownish. They'd look better with khakis or jeans. But with a black suite, uhh, it's not for me, regardless of the line of work. Maybe Fred Astaire or Sinatra could get away with such a contrasting color, but it's not my taste.

I'm a huge fan of Nagranis. I probably have 40 pairs and am in recovery for buying more. There are some awesome black-based designs that have a lot of pizazz to them. TrojanMan is selling some of them that I have and just love to wear with black slacks and my black suit. Paul Smith striped socks would be cool as well.

Also, I think matching your socks to your shirt is fine. I'm not a huge fan of a big contrasting base-color to socks. But you can find patterns where a color matches to your shirt or tie. Or, you can just have other colors that look great as well.

I guess I'm in that category of "don't knowing why wearing a black suit is bad." To get people gasping, I'm wearing black slacks today. Oh, the horror. Everyone has their opinion, and that's a good thing!
 

tradernick

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Originally Posted by daveboxster
I'm a huge fan of Nagranis. I probably have 40 pairs and am in recovery for buying more. There are some awesome black-based designs that have a lot of pizazz to them. TrojanMan is selling some of them that I have and just love to wear with black slacks and my black suit. Paul Smith striped socks would be cool as well.

Also, I think matching your socks to your shirt is fine. I'm not a huge fan of a big contrasting base-color to socks. But you can find patterns where a color matches to your shirt or tie. Or, you can just have other colors that look great as well.


dave, I hear you, I may need an intervention if I spend too much more time in the FS threads.

Okay... in fact it makes sense to me to wear a black based sock that maybe picks out the color of the shirt or tie without going overboard. I'm not really an overboard kind of guy, to be honest. I often like 'classic' things whether we're talking cars or clothes or furniture or whatever.

I'll scan through the Nagarani thread and see if there's something that represents a compromise.
 

embowafa

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I, personally, would never ever ever ever ever wear a solid pink shirt with solid pink socks. Even the ones you're looking at (130) are too much of a solid pink for me to like. To me, it screams cheesy.

If, however, you were to wear a pair of black/charcoal socks with a pink pattern (argyle, stripes, polka dots) that would be a little more appropriate...essentially switch the colors of sock #130.

my $0.02
 

tradernick

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Originally Posted by embowafa
I, personally, would never ever ever ever ever wear a solid pink shirt with solid pink socks. Even the ones you're looking at (130) are too much of a solid pink for me to like. To me, it screams cheesy.

If, however, you were to wear a pair of black/charcoal socks with a pink pattern (argyle, stripes, polka dots) that would be a little more appropriate...essentially switch the colors of sock #130.

my $0.02


Your $0.02 is what's required here, embowfa. Am I correct in assuming that the issue here is the screaming pink, so that if I were asking about wearing, for example, a black suit with a muted blue-ish shirt and matching it with similar colored socks, it might be more acceptable? Or is the idea that it's too literal too match solid shirt of _____ color with socks of same base color? Maybe my second idea that I should just try to match the socks with the trousers and then 'pick out' the color of the shirt somewhere in the pattern of the sock is more advisable.
 

Tomasso

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Jerry Lewis would often match his socks with his sweater, usually in red; Very Buddy Love.
 

lordofpi

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Originally Posted by embowafa
If, however, you were to wear a pair of black/charcoal socks with a pink pattern (argyle, stripes, polka dots) that would be a little more appropriate...

To expand on my comment about matching socks to trousers, I definitely do follow this path at times. It's a nice way of using them to complement without having them stand out. If only there were more patterned OTC socks, I would probably be more adventurous.

Btw, additional information for you, Tradernick, here in Sator's "A Brief History of Black in Dress History" thread.
 

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